The extent of the damage at Queen Elizabeth Park after Weber Bros Circus left Masterton. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

Council holds on to venue bond

GIANINA SCHWANECKE

The circus came to town … and left Masterton’s Queen Elizabeth Park in a terrible mess.

Two weeks ago, the Weber Bros Circus arrived at the venue, bringing an array of action-packed attractions in their new two-hour long show, Adrenaline.

However, when they departed on Monday afternoon as the severe weather warning came through, the green space beside the ChildrensOwn playground was left torn up by tyre tracks and dotted with muddy puddles.

Circus manager Marie Weber said heavy rain and flooding had contributed to the state of the grounds.

“During the winter months we try to get hard stand grounds because of the rain. Unfortunately, I don’t think we, nor the council, knew how much it was going to rain during the week.”

The stream running alongside the playground had flooded on the first night of heavy rainfall.

Weber said the Masterton audience had been fantastic and they hoped their performances would outweigh the damage done to the grounds.

Many residents were upset by the mess left behind but understood it was a result of the weather.

A Masterton woman, who wanted only to be known as Leanne, asked why the circus wasn’t hosted at Henley Lake.

“It could be cleaned up easily on the concrete. At least the ducks are loving it.”

Ali Scott, also of Masterton, said the circus couldn’t be blamed for the weather.

“They’ve been here heaps of times before and there’s been no problem.”

The last time the Weber Bros Circus performed in Masterton was more than 10 years ago.

The new show included freestyle motocross riders riding the globe of death, comedic clowns, and a human cannon display unseen in this country for decades.

A spokesperson for the Masterton District Council said it had worked closely with the circus operators to ensure measures were taken to protect the park.

The damage was caused when heavy machinery was used to remove the circus infrastructure and had resulted in the circus losing its $2500 bond.

Repairs to the green space would be covered by this bond at no additional cost to ratepayers.